Being a maintenance man at a busy resort is pretty easy. Toilets that don’t flush, plunging, shovelling snow, cutting lawn, making sure the pools and hot tubs are clear. There really isn’t much to it. If it gets too complicated a professional is called in.
Today I was called to a unit because a child had locked the bathroom door and shut it.
This is a call we get regularly and one I respond to with haste, because the kid is usually on the other side of the locked door upset because they are separated from his or her parents.
So I dropped what I was doing and went straight away. When I got over to their unit, the child and two parents were safely on the outside of the locked door. The Dad said the child had locked the door and pulled it shut.
I looked at the youngster who was about three years old and could tell his Dad was throwing him under the bus. Parents are always a little embarrassed about having to call the maintenance man. The dad probably had locked the door and the young fellow had simply shut the door. I asked the youngster if he had been to the pool and complimented him on the bicycle helmet he was wearing.
I got out my small screwdriver and inserted it into the hole of the privacy lock. It was being stubborn and wouldn’t unlock. Mom, Dad and child were over my shoulder.
Dad said to his son, see how much work you caused.
I said, I may need a smaller screw driver.
They said, oh yes!
I went outside to my tool bag. Was rummaging around and noticed the youngster had followed me out. As I knelt he stood close. I rooted around in my bag. I knew I didn’t have a smaller screw driver. He watched intently. I took the same screw driver I had and said, let’s go I think this one will do it.
He never said a word, but followed me back inside. He stood close while I worked away at the small hole that pops the lock open on the bathroom door. Damn, this should be an easier job! The parents were in the living room. The young fellow on my shoulder.
I talked to him the whole time. What’s your name, how old are you, just trying to make conversation with a child that had not yet learned to speak. He just kept looking at me with those big eyes.
And then he did something. He let loose an adult size fart. One I would have been proud of. I heard the adults in the living room stop talking. They most certainly thought it was me. The child and I looked at each other, but said nothing. We both should have said something, but didn’t, what was there to say.
Just then the bathroom door popped open. The young man had reached behind him and was clutching a handful of his shorts. I yelled to the parents the door was open. I didn’t tell them their child probably needed the bathroom.
The youngster and I gave each other one final look. A moment shared. If I see him in the pool I’m going to give him a wave.